Microsoft MVP: Flowing Offline

There’s something rather exceptionally marvelous about being a Microsoft Yammer MVP among this current group of Yammer MVPs.

I’m not actually talking about the award itself, though this additional shared aspect helped bring us even closer together.

I’m talking about what happens when your main mode of connection with a group of people is online, and you bring it offline.

I’m talking about what happens when it works.

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This represents streamlining

This year, all of us have a chance to nominate ourselves and others to actively participate in a number of ways at the Microsoft Ignite conference in September.

Naturally, we started discussing this on Yammer.

Streams of conversations and private messages flew back and forth. Awesome folks from Microsoft graciously allowed themselves to be dragged in to some of these conversations.

Then one of us had the bright idea to just have us all talk to each other! After all, we’d managed to do this once before, despite our different time zones and schedules.

And it was brilliant. We pooled our ideas, organized our approach, and perhaps most importantly, laughed. I truly enjoy their company and am glad they enjoy mine.

So yes. There’s something magical about meeting people online, getting to know them, getting to like them, and then being able to interact with them offline so well–and still like them!

Microsoft MVP: I Have Found My Peoples

Incidentally, I’ve dropped the “Day #” for these particular posts because the mere thought of continuing the tally instantly sapped my energy.

Didn’t notice it was gone? Well…good! …Yeah!

And since I’m being all confessional here, I did find my Yammer peoples before becoming a Microsoft MVP, so this post isn’t exactly about that.

This is about what happens when you bring online connections offline.

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Boy, was he ever surprised. From 6iee.com.

See, we newly-designated Yammer Microsoft MVPs had mostly just known each other online. A few of us met at Ignite or before, a couple of us have actually worked together, and so forth.

But overall, our biggest thing in common was this enterprise social network.

It makes sense. Yammer is where we met, Yammer is where we had our shared experiences, Yammer is where we talked the most.

And Yammer is global, so it didn’t matter where we sat down to do it.

But with this new year and new designation, we started thinking more and more that we needed to step out into the stratosphere just a bit.

So we had an hour-long conference call. And was it ever fun.

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Don’t leave me haaaannning on the telephone. From flickriver.com.

We had a huge agenda (got through three items!) and made concrete decisions as well, as well as establish some hopes and expectations.

But what really happened more than anything was this: We cemented our bond.

I’m not saying we wouldn’t be as fine and cemented if we never had a real-life call, or never were able to meet all of each other in person.

Yet even as this is my day job, one thing I will always say about social media is this:

Social media is meant to enhance, not replace.

To carry on your conversation when you can’t see or speak to each other otherwise.

To keep your connections strong when office hours are done and the lights are off.

To keep it real.

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She keeps it real. From sodahead.com.

So because social was first for so many of us, we really felt the need to balance it out a bit with a more “real life” connectivity.

That and we had so much to talk about that our fingers were wearing out.

When we got on that conference call, some magically-working alchemy came into play, and I believe that by the end, all of us felt even more “cemented.” And more—a pretty substantial bond.

Thank you to my fellow Yammer MVPs for being so awesome.

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YamLove swiped from my Yammer network